Monday, 12 April 2010

R & R

Day shift: Five calls; four by car; 1 No trace.

Stats: 1 BPV; 2 Falls; 1 eTOH.

First Trimester BPV is common and usually not something a pregnant woman should worry about but all instances where more than ‘spotting’ is experienced should be properly investigated to rule out miscarriage, which is also common at this stage. I reassured the 31 year-old who’d called an ambulance because she’d started to bleed and stain while out running in the morning. She was with her friend and seemed calm enough but it’s always a good idea to instil more confidence to ensure that the patient knows that things will probably be okay. The nurse did the same when I got her into A&E, so she was made doubly aware of the possibility of normality in her pregnancy. After that, it was up to the specialists to confirm or deny our words. Hopefully they will be confirmed.

A 45 year-old Indian lady took a tumble onto her knee when she tripped on the raised section of a pavement ramp, so the MOPs quickly surrounded her and threw her into the recovery position for some reason. She was perfectly able to put weight on her scraped leg and her injuries were otherwise invisible. Still, she said she had shoulder pain and I took her and her colleague to A&E for a wee check.

A bit of Glaswegian translation was required for my next patient, a 46 year-old fellow Scot and alcoholic who fell asleep on the pavement. This is a dangerous thing to do if buses are passing by because it will almost certainly cause a MOP on board to call 999 in panic. A brief, travelling description and a vague location will be given and then the MOP will go about his/her/its daily business knowing that whoever was trying to rest on the public path will be dragged to hospital for no reason other than ‘it’s safer’ and spend a few hours taking up medical time just to be launched back outside again and into the arms of alcohol. ‘Thanks son, yer a diamond’, he said as I wheeled him into a cubicle. A genuine Glaswegian compliment that is.

A red1 Cardiac Arrest became a ghost when I travelled south with a motorcycle unit and found nothing on the pavement, even though the caller was adamant there was a 60 year-old man ‘not breathing’ and ‘looking unwell’ (as you would). He’d obviously felt better and walked off.

I have another soldier’s tale to tell – this one, a 23 year-old guardsman came back with his company from Afghanistan, got drunk to celebrate his R&R and fell down, cracking his head open in the Barracks where he stays. The company Medic was on hand when I arrived and the young man was conscious but had a large gash in his scalp that would need closing. He got drunk, as did the others, to forget the five who never made it back and I can’t blame him for trying to inebriate his way out of reality.

I took him and the Medic in the car and while he was waiting in the A&E corridor (in a queue of patients), another drunken man, this time not in uniform, shook his hand, tried to hug him and gave him £10 as a token of appreciation. I found this ironic and heart-warming at the same time.

I left him in a cubicle as he vomited for the second time, ruining the sheet I had just put on the bed. Never mind. He and his like are worth the trouble in my book - they have paid their dues.

Be safe.


Ambulance Amateur said...

I reckon that, short of a heinous crime, serving soldiers/sailors/airmen should be cut some slack at the moment.

They are doing a sh*tty job at our government's request.

The first squaddie on leave who comes in my local gets a pint from me.

Uncle J said...

From "Tommy" by Kipling, 1890
//We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints//

Plus ca la change?

Tom said...

If I know the forces, the poor sod will need that tenner to pay a fine after the sheriff gives him a 252.

Still after a tour when you return 5 down, who can blame him.